Education and the Internet of Things

Here are the slides from a presentation for the South Australian Department of Education & Childrens' Development - Luchtime Bytes Series. Education and the Internet of Things View more presentations from Leo Gaggl For those who just want a link click here. Printable PDF here. The original copy of this blogpost was posted on http://www.brightcookie.com/2011/11/education-and-the-internet-of-things/

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Facebook – good riddance !

Finally I made the effort to completely get rid of my Facebook Account. After initially getting a Facebook Account in the very early days (as an 'occupational hazard' to investigate the potential of Facebook Applications) I have always been suspicious of the companies motives and decided not to use such a closed system as a base for application development. Recent developments have only confirmed this suspision: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Facebook http://www.forbes.com/sites/chunkamui/2011/08/08/facebooks-privacy-issues-are-even-deeper-than-we-knew/ http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/ln2e0/facebook_patent_to_track_users_even_when_they_are/ Instead I will concentrate all of my content inside this blog (including as a backup for other social services I create). I believe the control over my own content is important enough for me to warrant the extra effort. As the saying goes: 'You are not a Facebook User - you are the Product'   by  cogdogblog 

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Google Docs – custom styles

One of the most annoying things in the recent 'upgrade' of the Google Docs editor was the removal of the 'Edit CSS' and 'Edit HTML' functionality without any replacement (such as a Custom Styles Editor). Thanks to a discussion on the Google Help forum (where 100's of people wonder how this could have been called 'upgrade') I discovered this hack. Create an empty document in LibreOffice or OpenOffice (MS Office is also reported to work) Change the default styles (using Format --> Styles and Formatting (F11)) Upload the resulting document to Google Apps (Note: you will need to convert to GoogleDocs) and use as a template To get the ARIAL font on Ubuntu I also had to do install the MS Fonts package    

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Install Microsoft Fonts on Ubuntu

If you have kids going to school you will know these questions: Why can't you have Microsoft Office ? I can not find 'xyz' font on this .... - why ? I have managed (after some time) to convince my kids that there is no need for having a particular Word Processing Software and they are much better off knowing the concepts of text processing rather than some particular office package. Unfortunately I have had no look convincing many teachers that they should follow a similar principle .... However the second is a bit harder as some schools specify the font that has to be used (go figure). The fact that this might not be available for all and choosing an open font family has obviously not occurred to many schools. Hence the need to install some of these fonts: sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts #to refresh the font cache (or you can reboot) sudo fc-cache -fv Note: You will have to enable the "multiverse" repositories in "Software Sources"

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Alternatives to Google Adsense

Due to a recent absolute Customer Service failure with Google Adsense I have done some research on the alternative to Google Adsense as a content-sensitive mobile and web advertisements. We are currently reviewing the following services: http://www.adbrite.com/ http://chitika.com http://www.admob.com/ https://pubcenter.microsoft.com/Login http://advertisingcentral.yahoo.com/publisher/index http://www.clicksor.com/ http://www.infolinks.com/ http://adhitz.com/en http://buysellads.com/ Once we have some results I will update this post. Please add your comments should you have any (good or bad) experiences with similar services. Hat tip goes to the following listing pages to get started: http://generoustroopers.com/websites/the-biggest-list-of-google-adsense-alternatives/ http://www.tech-faq.com/alternatives-to-google-adsense.html

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GoogleApps (Gmail) as default Ubuntu mail client

Keeping mail on a local machine does not make sense when working across a large number of different (vitual) devices. As a GoogleApps user I have long preferred browser based mail client as my default. Unfortunately this is not yet a very straight process on most Operating Systems and Ubuntu is no difference. Edit: all the commands need to be run with root privileges. so either run "sudo su" or prefix all with "sudo " (thanks to Paul for the comment below) Remove Evolution (thanks to Grant Likely for the comment below) apt-get remove evolution evolution-indicator Install Gnome-Gmail apt-get install gnome-gmail Create entry for gnome-gmail using your preferred text editor and copy the following into the created file: vim /usr/share/indicators/messages/applications/gnome-gmail #insert this line /usr/share/applications/gnome-gmail.desktop Edit this file: /usr/share/applications/gnome-gmail.desktop and add the following line: MimeType=application/mbox;message/rfc822;x-scheme-handler/mailto Update desktop database for Gnome Gmail to be recognised as an email program: update-desktop-database Go to System Settings --> Preferred Applications and choose gnome-gmail as the default e-mail client Log out for the changes to the indicator to take effect (or kill gnome-indicator process).

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Find the direct link to a Twitter status update

I sometimes need to link to a specific Twitter status update and since the recent upgrade (or as I personally see it downgrade) of the Twitter UI it is quite annoying to find the Status ID, as it can not be copied from the interface (without some Javascript debugging tools at least). http://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/user_timeline.xml?screen_name=[screen_name] This will show the users timeline in XML format revealing the Status ID in the XML result. The following URL can be used to then construct the permalink to the specific status update: http://twitter.com/[screen_name]/status/[status_id] Not a particular hard thing to do, but annoying and time consuming if you have to remember. Hope this saves somebody some time. Enjoy !

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